Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hi gang-

I finally went to my new Rheumatogist yesterday. A nice, nice gal in Covington. Indian or Pakistani.... really liked her.

Dr. Culasso had run blood work on me in August, and told me to get to a specialist. It had been 3 years.

Got "kind of" good news. She said that my RH levels were sky-high (in August), and she was shocked that I wasn't in horrible pain. Thankfully/luckily, the Rheumatoid Arthritis still hasn't manifested itself.

She said that SOMETHING is going on, and might send me for a bone scan. She took more blood, and I'll see her in a week. She completely ruled out any kind of cancer. So, I walked out of her office feeling pretty fortunate.
Ma is still in the nursing home. She's not eating, and having difficulty with physical therapy. She's still unable to walk herself into the bathroom. Dom and I are going to swing by on the way back from Tulane on Thursday.
Thursday is our "big day"! Running into New Orleans for some blood work. One week later, we'll find out if the Thalidomide is working. That will be the first time we know anything. Both of us are quite excited. We're looking for a big increase in his T-Cells.

That's all for now. Happy Wednesday, gang!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The ULTIMATE Burger!

Well, gang.......... my 25 year quest for New Orleans' best burger is over. Oh, my GAWD! Linda, her son Bryson, her boyfriend Paul and I took a cab into the Quarter on Saturday.

We got to the Port of Call around 3pm..... even at that strange hour, there was barely standing room at the bar. (I snatched these photos from Google.... they weren't taken Sat.)

We drank $10 Monsoons. Rum based and fruity....big plastic cups pictured.

We all had mushroom cheeseburgers (pictured). Half pounders. Served with big-ass baked potatoes.

Dom has to go to Tulane on Thursday for some blood work..... guess where we're going for lunch?

This joint is going to be a "must stop" when I've got you guys in from out of town. What a fun, fun place!
(What a flippin' GOLD MINE!!!!)

Friday, January 23, 2009


National Park Officials estimated that 1.8 million people attended Tuesday's inauguration.

The US Labor Department estimated that only 25 missed work.

(Thanks, Graybeard!)

Things are calming down- finally.

Hi Gang-

Dom moved Ma into the nursing home yesterday. This is quite the relief. Don't know how long it will be for, but I'm guessing a minimum of 3 weeks. She'll be getting physical therapy, etc.

Dom finally stayed home today. It was so pleasant awaking at 10 am to find him watching television next to me. *smiling*

He'll head back in tomorrow to visit her. I'm heading to Metairie to spend the night with my Lovely Linda. Looking forward to it.

Thank you for the many emails/calls regarding Mrs. M. Your warmth and kindness means alot to us!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Atrial Fibrillation

Well, Dom's mom suffers from Atrial Fibrillation, that's usually treated with Coumadin, as it can cause strokes.

Unfortunately, she also has a bleeding ulcer which could cause internal bleeding, is likely to take a fall..... if she fell on her head, it would cause brain hemorrhaging. Falls are more likely with Coumadin patients.

So, her doc thinks that the chance of a stroke is safer than her suffering the above scenarios.

The guy has really come around in past days. He calls every night, and is ALMOST pleasant.

Last night, he said that there's a bit of a chance that she has colon cancer (blood in her stool), but we agreed that it would be silly to give a 94 year old a colonoscopy.

So- she's being transferred to a nursing home tomorrow morning. Doc wants her to have some physical therapy before returning home. Dom and I took care of that yesterday. She wants no part of this, but I'm relieved for Dom. He needs to concentrate on his own health- this way he'll know that she's in good hands for a few weeks.

This is the joint that my mom was in for about a month when she'd broken her back from a fall. It's the nicest place in town.

So, Dom will be the bad-guy and take her over there tomorrow. I want no part of it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gorgeous Sunset

These pics were taken a week ago. These are right out of the camera, and haven't been touched up.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Dom went into Slidell this morning. Nothing new. The powers-that-be know nothing about what caused the fall and the vomiting of blood.

Her doctor's associate came in to talk to Dom. Said that the heart monitor (Halter) would come off at noon, and that she needed to start walking.

Possibly being sent home tomorrow.


She couldn't even stand up on her own yesterday. This guy (who Dom said was very friendly) wants him to walk with her.

I suggested that Dom insist on a nurse's aid to come along for a stroll. If she fell down and broke a hip, the guilt would be horrid.

I get the feeling that I'm going to have to be pro-active.

I'd gone through this with my mother. The hospital would release her, and I'd call 911 to take her back. After a couple of these episodes, I told the insurance company that they could send her home as often as they wished, but they'd be springing for the ambulance to re-admit her as long as she couldn't take care of herself.

I finally "won". Maw ended up springing for a nursing home for her recovery. (was a broken back that time around). $$$$$$$$$$$$
I told Dom to leave word with the nurse that she was not ready to go home. That she needed physical therapy, and that eventually she'd need Home Health Care. Something tells me that I'll be involved in this on Monday.
I'd had a total of 6 hours of sleep in three days when we went to the hospital yesterday. Came home yesterday, took some sleeping pills and slept almost FOURTEEN HOURS. I'm still wiped out. Tired and overwhelmed by this.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ma update 6pm

Just called to check on her..... she's had a carotid artery x-ray since we've been gone. Christ, she must be exhausted.... between tests, needles, visitors..... I hope that she can get some sleep.

1:25 AM phone call this morning- Ma is in hospital-

Well, gang- it was another LONG DAY. The phone woke us up at 1:25 am this morning. It was Dom's Aunt Lou saying that his ma was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Lou got up to go to the bathroom around 1am. She noticed the living room light on. Then she spotted ma laying on the floor. She was conscious, but couldn't get up. There was a pool of blood next to her.

Lou called 911. Paramedics hooked her up to an IV and took her away. Mrs. M had vomited the blood.

She was in the ER until they got her a room at 9am. While she was in the ER, they hooked her up to a "Telemetry Monitor" that is constantly being watched for the rate and rhythm of her heart. She was hooked up to a catheter and a Saline drip. Also had an EKG.

Her doctor (who I have no fondness for) arrived at 9:40 am. The guy has absolutely NO bedside manner. All that I could get out of him was that he'd ordered a scope..... upper GI.... thought that perhaps it was a bleeding ulcer, and the scope would determine where it was located and how large it was.

Then off he went. Asshole. I've never liked the guy..... tried to warm up to him many years ago, but the guy has no personality at all.

At around 11:30 am, they wheeled her down for the scope. Knocked the old gal out. Talked to her specialist, Dr. Dugan, an hour later. She was a DOLL. She said that there was absolutely NO evidence of bleeding. No blood. No oozing. Saw that she had acid reflux and a bunch of AVMs (Arterial Venus Malformations) which are blood vessels close to the surface which can spring leaks. However, there was no sign of damage.

Said that an x-ray showed that she was impacted.... about 3 days worth of stool in her colon.. Thought that perhaps this could have caused her nausea, and she could have thrown up a clot while retching. (12 hours later, there was no blood left). This makes no sense to me, but nevermind.

So, said that she was going to have ma's nurses do some enemas, try to clean her out, and then we'll discuss further action. As she's 94 years old, the doc didn't want to put her through a colonoscopy. She's just going to play it by ear. Try to make her feel better physically.

Said that her hemoglobin was "very good" and that no blood needed to be replaced.

Meanwhile, something showed up on the Telemetry Monitor. They took her for an Echo Cardiogram, and then put a Halter Monitor (spelling?) on her. That will be removed in 24 hours and a specialist will look at the print out, getting the "big picture".

Ma managed to rip out her IV, and that had to be replaced.

We left as the enema team arrived. *cringing* No further tests have been ordered. Dom is going back in to visit and get the scoop tomorrow.
This is like DEJA VU for me. My mom went through many falls..... every test imagineable, and they never did identify what the problem was. Surmised it was poor circulation due to her diabetes.

I can picture the same thing happening with Dom's mom. One test after another with no answers.
Sooooo.......that's the story. She needs a good cleaning out and they're looking at her heart.

Kindly send good wishes.......I'll update when I hear something.


Monday, January 12, 2009

This tickled me......

"I went on a diet, swore off drinking and heavy eating, and in fourteen days I lost two weeks."

--Joe E. Lewis, comedian and actor, born today in 1902.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thursday's Tulane Visit.....

Hi guys...

Well, we spent the ENTIRE day at Tulane Cancer Center on Thursday. Apparently the first few visits that ran like clockwork were a fluke. Oh well.... was good while it lasted!

Met first with Dr. Safah. Dom mentioned to her that he had gained weight in the past month, but said, "Doc- look at how skinny my arms are getting! How could I have gained weight?".

She smiled and poked him in the stomach. I think his feelings were a little hurt, as he has quite the crush on her. (of course, he'd never admit it, but she really is a knockout!).

She went on to tell him that he was "DOING GREAT!". That was nice to hear.

Then, on for his Aredia infusion.

Left the house at around 8 am, and didn't return home until ater 5pm. A long, long day.
**************************************'s the latest scoop:

On THURS, JAN 29th, we'll be returning to Tulane for lab work. The "magic number" for Thalidomide to start showing its' stuff is FOUR MONTHS. The 29th will be 4 months and 2 weeks of treatment.

What they're looking for is a T-CELL SPIKE in his blood. T-Cells are white blood cells that are our bodies' "soldiers". They go after infections, invaders (lesions, renegade plasma cells, etc.)

One week later, on THURS, FEB 5th, we have an appointment with Dr. Safah. She will have gotten the lab results in, and we'll have an idea of what's next. Which will be WONDERFUL. Honestly, we feel like a couple of dummies- had assumed that Dom would be hospitalized this month for the transplant, blah, blah, blah.

It will be nice to finally know SOMETHING.

Our patient is doing well today. Sipping on a beer and making phone calls. Yesterday, as expected, he spent the entire day/night in bed. HOWEVER, I'm thinking that his body is building up a resistance to the Aredia. He wasn't nearly as beat-up yesterday as he had been prior months.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it! Love to all of you-

Friday, January 9, 2009

Turducken photos....

Here's our Christmas "TURDUCKEN". I opted for green onion sausage rather than stuffing..... also had the option of cornbread stuffing or crawfish stuffing.

As you can see, this is ALL MEAT. Gimicky, but kind of fun.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Just had a great phone call from the Tulane Urology Clinic. Dom's biopsy from a few weeks ago was NEGATIVE. *clapping my hands*

Now our full attention will be directed towards the Multiple Myeloma.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

We're back to normal..... but TIRED!

Well, my Crimson Tide was soundly beaten by the stupid Utah Utes in the Sugar Bowl. UTAH??? What a stupid team. I DID like their uniforms, though.

Watched NFL WildCard playoffs all weekend, then FINALLY rejoined reality yesterday. That means cutting back on the booze, the food and the cigarettes. But, MAN! What a fun month!

We're tired.... of entertaining, cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc. We're glad that it's just the 2 of us. (No offense, Ric and Christine!).
Today, we slept in. Eventually ventured into Bogalusa for our regular Chinese buffet and a couple of beers at the L&C. I sobbed into my Miller Lite as Skeet and I commiserated our horrid Sugar Bowl performance. (Skeet is pictured). He's the rascal who turned me onto ALABAMA. The SOB got me hooked on the team---- and for what? *grinning*
Thursday, we'll be heading to Tulane for bloodwork, and appointment with Dr. Safah, and Dom's monthly Aredia infusion. I need to venture across the street to Tulane's Urology Clinic and learn the results of the Prostate Biopsy a few weeks ago. We figure that no news is good news.
Love you guys-

Nan and Dom

Monday, January 5, 2009


We had a very pleasant couple of days. At the spur of the moment, Chris decided to pay us a visit. He spent a couple of nights... NY EVE and NY DAY.

He came bearing gifts. Bought me a lovely MARTINI PITCHER and some GOOD CIGARS for Dominic.

We nibbled all day/night on party food NY Eve. Chris and I had a martini party. What fun!

Woke up moving a little slow on NY Day. The boys ventured into Bogalusa to have a few beers with Richard McM and our new buddy, Skeet.

I cooked my traditional Pork and Sauerkraut, sipped on wine and bubbly for much of the day. It was very low-key and great fun.